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‘Permanent UNSC membership Not beyond India’s capacity’: UNGA President

UN Headquarters, New York, October 11:   As India seeks a permanent UNSC seat, UNGA President Dennis Francis expresses confidence in India’s capability to shoulder the associated responsibilities. He underscores the substantial significance and weighty responsibility of such a role.

During India’s presidency in September, the African Union’s full G20 membership was a significant achievement, with Francis noting India’s influential voice in the Global South.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) praised the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 as a remarkable accomplishment attributed to Prime Minister Modi and his government.

“I congratulate them warmly and deservingly for understanding and not just understanding, but acting on the strategic importance of that inclusion…” Francis said.

The UNGA President added, “India is already a role model to the world. With so many different cultures, and so many different languages, India is a very diverse and rich country. And, that in itself is a powerful message for political success. I think India also has many lessons that it can share. Not just with the global South, but with the entire international community.”

When asked about India’s role as the largest contributor of troops to UN peacekeeping missions, Francis highlighted that India is among the pioneers in deploying female peacekeepers in the field.

Dennis Francis highlighted India’s role as a significant contributor to UN peacekeeping, describing it as an underwriter of the principles in the UN charter. He emphasized India’s tangible commitment to peacekeeping, including the deployment of female peacekeepers.

Regarding India’s pursuit of a permanent UNSC seat, Francis expressed confidence in India’s capacity to handle the associated responsibilities. He underscored that India is well-prepared for this significant international role.

Francis congratulated India on its ambitions to join the UN Security Council, acknowledging the weighty responsibility it carries. He also noted that the timing of India’s membership will be determined by the UN members in the context of ongoing Security Council reform, emphasizing that this reform is a continuous process.

“Well, what I can say is, first of all, to congratulate India, on its ambitions to become a member of the UN Security Council. It is quite a weighty responsibility to become a member of the council. But also to become a permanent member is an extremely weighty responsibility, which I am sure is not beyond the capacity of the government of India. The question of when that will happen will be a question for, the members of the United Nations to decide, in the context of the reform agenda that’s taking place within the Security Council. And let me emphasize consistent with what I have said before that security council reform is not an event. It’s a process. In fact, it’s an ongoing process…,” added Francis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stated in Moscow that India, with its 1.5 billion people and over 7% GDP growth, should have representation and the opportunity to contribute to global issue resolution due to its substantial influence in international affairs and high-tech export growth under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership.

India, after concluding a two-year term as a non-permanent UNSC member, received backing for its bid to become a permanent member from four UNSC countries: France, Russia, the UK, and the US, with China as the sole opposing member.

Despite China’s opposition, India is gaining support from numerous countries, making it increasingly challenging for China to prevent India’s entry into the UNSC. India’s rising global prominence, especially as a leader of the Global South, makes its UNSC bid nearly inevitable.

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